Betty Boop hires a feline professional "Mouse Eradicator" to take over from Pudgy the Pup who makes friends with mice. But after initial successes, Mr. Al E. Katz gets drunk on the job...Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
A good deal of the pre-Production Code Betty Boop cartoons are daring and creative, with content that makes one amazed at what's gotten away with. While the later Betty Boop cartoons made after the Code was enforced are still watchable and exceptionally well-made, they are so toned down that they feel bland.
Fleischer were responsible for some brilliant cartoons, some of them still among my favourites. Their visual style was often stunning and some of the most imaginative and ahead of its time in animation. The character of Betty Boop, one of their most famous and prolific characters, may not be for all tastes and sadly not as popular now, but her sex appeal was quite daring for the time and to me there is an adorable sensual charm about her.
'Pudgy the Watchman' is pretty good for later Betty Boop, even if feeling much more like a Pudgy cartoon for obvious reasons, though a long way from the best of the series. Strictly speaking, Pudgy is the star and he is adorable and while not an "interesting" supporting character like Grampy, Bimbo or Koko were he is always watchable and easy to like (which is more than can ever be said about Little Jimmy and Junior). The mice are suitably pesky and Katz (or "The Mouse Eradicator") comes very close to stealing the show under Pudgy, having the most colourful personality of all the characters and is entertaining.
The animation in 'Pudgy the Watchman' is as to be expected extremely good, being beautifully drawn, crisply shaded and meticulous in detail. The music is infectious, lush and dynamic. There are some very amusing moments and it is sweet without being too saccharine. The voice is reliably good.
However, although pretty new for a Betty Boop cartoon the story is pretty predictable with the outcome being smelt from miles away and a relative lack of surprises. Betty herself is basically a supporting character to Pudgy here, and one that has very little to do in screen time and writing.
As has been said many times about the post-Production Code Betty Boop cartoons, there is a big personal preference for the more risqué, surreal, creative and more consistently humorous and imaginative pre-Production Code Betty Boop cartoons, having been toned down by the limitations of the code many of the later cartoons are tame in comparison and have a blandness.
In summary, pretty good and worth seeing but not great. To be seen more as a Pudgy cartoon than a Betty Boop one, your enjoyment of it is wholly dependent on which character you like better and whether you like Pudgy or not. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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